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Long Range Wolves Down Lions

The Worcester Wolves defeated the London Lions on Friday night in the Copper Box Arena by a final score of 85-97 in the BBL Championship.


The London Lions were close to full strength with the return of Justin Robinson but with the absence through injury of Momcilo Latinovic. Lions though hannded a  debut to London born, former Great Britain international, Flo Larkai who is studying a masters at the University of East London. The Worcester Wolves entered the contest missing their big man Dallin Bachynski, an important piece of their interior play.


The Lions struggled early on and turned to Jonathan James to inject some energy into the home effort early in the first quarter. The early change worked. The young Londoner demonstrated his exceptional athleticism, exploding past his guard along the baseline for a layup, in one of the stand out plays of the half.


The Lions had the better of a tense opening ten minutes, with the new man Larkai giving his side a 23-22 lead just seconds before the buzzer sounded.


The Wolves edged the second quarter, however, despite playing Wednesday night against the Sheffield Sharks. The visitors took a 6 point lead into halftime, having earned 8 of their 32-second period points from the free throw line.


The Wolves came out of the break shooting well to build and maintain a ten point advantage, with Brandon Parrish riding the hot hand with 8 points in the quarter. Parrish would finish the contest with 19 points.


The Lions turned to Brandon Peel for scoring, and Peel delivered scoring 9 points in the quarter on his way to recording yet another double-double, finishing the night with 20 points and 12 rebounds.


Despite Peel's brilliance, the Wolves kept distance from the hosts with excellent shooting from range. During a run in the third quarter, the guests netted four straight from beyond the arc to head into the final term with an 11 point advantage.


Local lad Jonathan Lashley started hot for the Lions in the final period netting the quarter's first four points, closing the gap to seven. Unfortunately for London, the gap would widen as the visitors continued to rain threes, netting a ridiculous 17 threes from 27 attempts.


In the end, despite some good work on both ends from the Lions, the Wolves were able to maintain their lead and consign London to their first home Championship defeat of the season.


On his Lions return, Justin Robinson impressed with 18 points in 30 minutes whilst Captain Joe Ikhinmwin contributed 14 points, including a rim-rocking jam that brought the arena to its feet.


Lions Head Coach Vince Macaulay said after the game, "we took away everything they had. We took away their point guard play, we took away their inside game, but by the time those guys were on a groove on the three-point line that was tough to stop...We can't take anything away from them [wolves] they made their shots."


The Lions get the chance to return to winning ways Wednesday night as they host the league-leading Leicester Riders at the Copper Box at 7:30 pm in the first Leg of the BBL Trophy Semi-finals, tickets are available at ticketmaster.co.uk


Lions Scorers; Peel 20, Robinson 18, Ikhinmwin 14, Guede 8, Dixon 7, Larkai 7, Lockhart 5, Lashley 4, James 2


Wolves Scorers; Palmer 26, Parrish 19, Beamon 13


Date added: 11/02/2018
BBC

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